When you think of Thanksgiving as portrayed by popular culture, certain images come to mind instantly: turkey, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and squash all reign supreme in the United States every third Thursday of November. However, for Latinos across the 50 states, Thanksgiving can be a chance to bring in their own style to the dinner table; from replacing turkey with pernil, to replacing political grandstanding with chisme, a Sansgiving oftentimes feels warmer than its traditional counterpart.
To that end, why not replace the standard side dishes with picados from all over Latin America? That way, when your aunt gets drunk off the ron-and-coke, you can try to power through her “why aren’t you married?” questions by indulging in some comfort food. Elotes, empanadas and tequeños are among the 10 side dishes we feel can add a personal touch to the holiday of over-eating and over-sharing with your closest familia.
Arroz con Gandules
This Puerto Rican dish is easy to make but will fill you up all night long.
There are many variations of chicharron, including the Dominican chicharrones de cerdo, which is the crispy and delicious side you need this Thursday.
Everyone’s favorite Mexican street food takes little effort to make, so why not?
There are so many types of empanadas that you can’t go wrong with making them for Thanksgiving.
Brazil’s national dish is a pork-and-beans stew that you can’t go wrong with.
Papa a la Huancaina
Celebrate Peru’s recent World Cup qualification by cooking up one of the tastiest Peruvian potato dishes.
Not to be confused with Mexican quesadillas, this Salavadoran cake is more of a sweet dessert.
While a lot of countries do some variety of platano dishes, Venezuela’s variety–which adds a heaping of cheese on top–is one to include.
Sticking with Venezuela, their famous fried cheese sticks are more filling than they appear, and twice as delicious.
Last but not least, yuca is fried and eaten all over Latin America, so why not add that in as well?